AC OXGANGS under-17s gave Scottish Cup holders Tynecastle a real scare in the second round of the Victor Paris Bathrooms Cup, with the Saughton side a goal behind for over 70 minutes of the cup tie.
If it wasn’t for a moment of sheer brilliance from Tynecastle, league rivals Oxgangs would’ve been celebrating a memorable victory over last season’s under-16 national cup winners – who struggled to carve out much in the way of chances over the 90 minutes despite their lion’s share of possession.
Tynecastle didn’t look their usual assured selves and appeared riled until striker Cameron Jeffrey, who was quiet for much of the afternoon, produced a fantastic strike for the equaliser with just under 20 minutes remaining before substitute David Henderson fired in what proved to be the winner – just a minute later.
It wasn’t plain sailing for Tynie until then though, with Oxgangs holding their own against an abundance of talent in the oppositions ranks.
Despite Tynecastle passing the ball around well on the artificial surface at Meggetland they found it hard to breach a solid Oxgangs rearguard, with Sam Leslie a standout in the centre of defence.
Liam Thomson was close to putting Tynie in front with an effort from 25 yards out midway through the first half, but Oxgangs goalkeeper Robbie Brown, who oozed confidence between the sticks, was able to get a hand on the strike to tip it wide.
Tynecastle goalkeeper Jamie Shiel then produced an excellent one-handed parry to deny Shaun Marshall, who had bore down on goal after an incisive Oxgangs breakaway, with his chipped attempt almost certain to hit the back of the net had Shiel not got a hand to it.
Two minutes after the interval and Oxgangs went ahead. Tynecastle’s defence was guilty for allowing Robbie Simpson the time and space to fire a shot away on the edge of the box which was heading for the top corner until Shiel grasped it, but the keeper couldn’t hold onto the strike and Paul Macari pounced to bundle into the net.
Tynecastle appeared shell-shocked and opted for the bench in order to get back into the tie. And it worked.
On 73 minutes Jeffrey produced a moment of magic to fire into the top corner from 25 yards after the ball popped up nicely and then, immediately after, super-sub Henderson capitalised on a poor Oxgangs clearance to send his side into the quarter final as he swept home from inside the area.
Tranent are hit for six
Two in-form sides met in the second round of the Kenny McLean Cup, but it was Division 1 league leaders Hutchison Vale 2000s (under-14s) who came out on top over Tranent Colts from the second tier, winning 6-2.
Hutchie didn’t get off to the best start and Tranent caught them out after five minutes when, on the counter attack, striker Lomond Gray found the net. Tranent put five in midfield as they looked to defend their lead with Gray on his own up front and Hutchie began to pass the ball around really well as they went in search of an equaliser.
Goalkeeper Robbie Stirling was doing his best to thwart Hutchie, but eventually they levelled before half time through a tremendous strike from Grant Rose, who would later score three more.
Hutchie’s Ewan Henderson was orchestrating play from his attacking midfield role, with the gifted player doing his upmost to put his side ahead early in the second half.
There was only so long that Tranent could withstand the pressure from Hutchie and Jack Murray put them in the lead before Rose got his hat-trick with the third and fourth goals.
Ewan Mitchell pulled a goal back when he laced the ball into the top corner after cutting inside from the right wing, but immediately after Rose volleyed in his fourth of the afternoon and then Hutchie profited from a Tranent own goal.
Hutchie’s head coach Norrie Lewis was delighted with his side. he said: “Despite being slow out the traps, I was pleased with most aspects of our play – in particular we passed the ball around really well and when put under pressure we performed well.”